Chile: General Rozas becomes youngest Carabineros chief as Hermes Soto is sacked over Mapuche death

SANTIAGO – Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera has appointed General Mario Rozas as the new director of Carabineros following the dismissal of General Hermes Soto on Thursday after three videos of the force’s improper handling of the Catrillanca case were released.

“Given everything that has happened, I have come to the conclusion that Carabineros de Chile needs a new leadership,” Piñera said as he requested the resignation of Soto and ten other generals.

Rozas has served as a presidential aide for about three years during Piñera’s first term in office so his choice was not entirely surprising.

“I have decided to appoint General Mario Rozas Córdova as general director of Carabineros,” Piñera said in La Moneda Friday.

Rozas is a son of Carabineros parents, has siblings serving on the force and is married to Colonel Carolina Aengo.

He studied journalism at the Universidad del Desarrollo and has a master’s degree in Analysis and Communicational Intelligence.

Between November 2011 and March 2014 he served as Piñera’s aide and during 2017 he was a police attaché at the Chilean embassy in Spain.

Rozas, aged 51, became the youngest general director of Carabineros in the past 30 years.

Four Chilean police officers arrested over Mapuche man’s killing

Carabineros is under the spotlight for the death of Mapuche leader Camilo Catrillanca in Ercilla, as well as for a multi-million dollar fraud and the failed Operation Hurricane in La Araucanía.

During his time as a Communications Colonel, Rozas gained some notoriety for his controversial remarks as he defended then Carabineros General Director Gustavo González Jure from improper handling of personnel accusations that were later proven accurate.–MercoPress